To explore these questions, we recently gathered with leading researchers and policymakers in Oxford, UK, and concluded that while preliminary findings indicate water shocks definitely represent a major challenge to sustainable development in surprising and unexpected ways, there’s still much more we can do to strengthen the evidentiary basis for development policy.
For the past half year, a team led by Richard Damania, Global Lead Economist for the Water Practice, has been working to better understand the linkages between water shocks, the economy, and development. Their research will form the basis of a report tentatively titled “Uncharted Waters: New Insights on a Complex Challenge,” that sheds new light on how water shocks, and water infrastructure, impact people, farms, forests, and firms — taking a cross-sectoral approach, going from the macro to the micro level, to contribute to the understanding of the dynamics at play across settings and issues.
During the Oxford workshop, the team presented preliminary results on four research projects using a wide range of data focusing on:
While much of the discussion focused on refining the team’s methodological approach, perhaps the liveliest discussion centered on the policy implications of the team’s report.